A Look into the Hyped Up High of CBD Beauty Products

by Vicki Liang

Throughout the cycles and turnover of new products, there always seem to be new trends riding the wave of hype in the beauty industry. The most current contenders include retinols, supplements, a myriad of acids – and recently, the spread of skincare and beauty products laced with CBD.

The question begs to be asked – what is CBD, exactly? According to a post by Harvard Health Blog, CBD stands for cannabidiol, and though it is an essential part in marijuana, the ingredient by itself does not cause a ‘high’. CBD can come from either marijuana or hemp, which both fall under the cannabis label. The difference between the two is that marijuana contains THC concentrations of 0.3% or greater, while hemp has THC concentrations of less than 0.3%, as stated in an article by Missouri Medicine.

In medicine, CBD has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia, and is becoming a potential option for treating different types of chronic pain, including neuropathic and inflammatory issues.  

As for beauty products? Haley Slater, a creative in the cannabis industry, imparts that “The list of CBD beauty benefits is an endless one. An antioxidant filled with vitamins and nutrients, CBD can help with things like sun damage, aging, inflammation and complexion when used topically.”

Slater credits the burgeoning prevalence of CBD beauty products to a combination of legalization, its maintained effects, and of course, the constant, controversial buzz around marijuana. Although there are many who have accepted CBD as an ingredient, she acknowledges that the remaining reservations are due to the prohibition of cannabis.

“Since it’s just now gaining popularity there is a lack consumer knowledge and with that comes fear. Education is key here, that’s why it’s so important for producers and retailers to make reliable information accessible to their customers.”

One has to wonder though, if such suppliers are including CBD in their products for its actual benefits, or simply touting the ingredient in promotions to make some quick cash. After all, the trend isn’t some commercial flop – according to an article by Variety, marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD products generated $112 million and $90 million in sales respectively within 2015. Nor does it seem to be a temporary high either, with the market expected to yield $2.1 billion by 2020.

Slater herself has seen an increase in misleading CBD beauty products, and stresses the importance of consumer awareness when looking to buy them. Though the haziness of hype is tempting, she advises others to “Read ingredients statements, understand where the CBD came from, ask for third party lab results, because at the end of the day it’s going into your body.”

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